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Utility Relief Grant and Non-Mains Utility Relief Grant schemes
The Utility Relief Grant is available to eligible cardholders who are unable to pay their mains electricity, gas or water bill due to a temporary financial crisis.
The grant is also available on non-mains energy or water bills. This can include: liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), diesel and petrol (for a generator), heating oil, firewood, metered electricity from an embedded network and carted water.
The amount of the grant is based on the balance owing at the time of application and is capped at six months’ worth of usage up to a maximum of $500. This grant does not have to be paid back.
For non-mains utility users, grant assistance may also be provided to those who do not have an existing debt, but who are unable to afford their next non-mains supply load.
This grant is available to both private renters and home owners.
The grant is available for each utility type every two years (from the date of last approval).
The Utility Relief Grant Scheme (mains) and Utility Relief Grant Scheme (non-mains) fact sheets are available to download on this site.
You must hold at least one of the following concession cards:
Cards marked 'dependent' are not eligible.
Applicants need to demonstrate that unexpected hardship has left them seriously short of money, so that they cannot pay their utility bills without assistance and risk disconnection or non-supply, and meet one of the five following criteria:
- a significant increase in usage
- a recent decrease in income, for example, loss of employment
- high unexpected expenses on essential items
- the cost of shelter is more than 30 per cent of the household income
- the cost of utility usage is more than 10 per cent of the household income.
Special conditions for non-concession card households
Mains account holders who do not hold a concession card but are registered with their utility company’s hardship program and are part of a low-income household with an outstanding mains electricity, gas or water debt can apply for the grant.
Non-mains account holders who do not hold a concession card may still be eligible if the total household income is under the income cap determined by the Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with standard Centrelink payments.
How to apply
Application forms for the Non-Mains Utility Relief Grant Scheme can be obtained by calling the Concessions Information Line on 1800 658 521.
Application forms for the Utility Relief Grant Scheme can be obtained from your gas, electricity and water companies.
Contact the Concessions Information Line on 1800 658 521.